On a day best suited for ducks the Tokyo Gaijin RFC were up against Shinjuku Jacks in the fourth round of the Tokyo Cup. With a typhoon approaching Japan, the heavens had opened and the rain was bucketing down. Tatsumi field, a delicious rectangle of green grass (yes, delicious, because we don't get much green grass, especially this close to the city centre) usually drains well but even it was struggling with the constant down-pour and had a sheet of water on its surface.
The opposition, Shinjuku Jacks, had been the big improvers in the Shuto League and had only been beaten by 3 points by Olivers RFC earlier in the league, whilst the Gaijin had been beaten by about 40 points by the same opposition. All players were expecting a tough game and the TGRFC squad was a little short on numbers, perhaps due to the conditions, making the mission even tougher.
A strong Tama Club & Musashino Ruggers combination had too much fire-power for the Tokyo Gaijin RFC in a 'friendly' game played at Yanokuchi Field. It was to be long term player Ikuo Fukuda's last game for the Gaijin as he moves to greener pastures in Osaka. In a game where he would have liked to finish on a good note and be remembered for all the good things he has done for the team he had, unfortunately for him, one of his worst games for the club and got the Goat of the Game award.
The Tokyo Gaijin RFC played Kurumi RFC at Edogawa in a game organized to give the guys outside the regular match-day 22 more game time. With only 18 players on deck there was a lack of depth but ample opportunity for some of the guys to show their skills and push for more game time in the future. Tom Burke, despite joining the club back before summer, was having his first game with the club and regular flanker Daniel Worden was having his first game at lock due to a lack of numbers in the position.
In what has been the traditaional batttle for the number 1 spot in the Shuto League over the past few years the Tokyo Gaijin RFC came up against Olivers RFC to go a long way towards deciding who would be the Shuto League Champion for 2013. Last year Olivers narrowly pipped the Gaijin in the same fixture at the same ground (Inagi Stadium) and took the title, and earlier this year in the Tokyo Cup, Olivers came from behind to score in the last minute to win the game. Everyone expected a similar close game.
Unfortunately the little man in the middle with the whistle had a huge bearing on the game and Olivers ended up romping away to their biggest win over the Gaijin.